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Happy International Men's Day!


Today is International Men's Day! Yes, it is a real thing, not just a joke people mention on International Women's Day when men get all antsy and ask 'so when's international men's day then?' 
International Women's Day is more of a 'thing', I feel. You see more about it in the mainstream press, you see famous people who are ambassadors for women's rights standing up and giving meaningful speeches. And women get free stuff - I was once in Florence for International Women's Day and discovered to my delight that entrance to art museums was free for women on that day!
Michelangelo's David - replica in bronze
But I'm starting to feel that we should be paying more attention to International Men's Day. I'm going to be bold and state that I think men are victims of the patriarchy almost as much as women and if we want to fight inequality, then we need to start talking about this more. 
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. Men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women. Just stop and think about that for a moment. 
As a society, we are failing to support men to the extent that mental health issues are the biggest threat to their life. That is a shocking and horrific concept. 

Our patriarchial society tells boys, almost from birth, that they shouldn't cry or show emotions, that they should prefer predator animals, not pretty ones or soft, cuddly ones, that they should play at fighting and with guns and weapons. And then we wonder why they grow up to be angry young men who can't handle or process their emotions, or ask for help when they need it. 

So I think if you class yourself as a feminist or someone who supports gender equality, you need to start supporting and talking about International Men's Day. After all, it's just another opportunity to talk about how we can do better to support everyone, equally.

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